Many women I assess with pelvic floor issues have a pelvic floor that stays contracted/ tight / engaged throughout their day. It is so “normal” feeling that they are not even aware that they are pulling it up and holding tight until we begin to do our pelvic floor work and they become aware of the tension there.
There are many reasons why we might hold our pelvic floor chronically tight:
Pain. A too tight pelvic floor can cause a lot of different types of dysfunction and pain. The one I see most regularly in my private practice is pain during penetration.
Not very yielding for childbirth. The goal is not a super.tight.pelvic floor but rather a strong, functional and YIELDING pelvic floor. Imagine your bicep muscle… if it was too tight you wouldn’t be able to extend your arm all the way. Tighter isn’t better, it’s just tighter. Not great for childbirth. But not great for the rest of life either so if you’re done having kids or not planning kids, you still don’t want a too tight pelvic floor.
The deep core muscles not working as well. The pelvic floor and the deep core, oversimplified, co-contract i.e. work together. Lifting the pelvic floor should ideally automatically cause the deepest core muscle, the Tranverse abdominus, to contract. But if the pelvic floor is lifted all the time?? Well of course that is going to jack up that whole coordination system.
Once you have done release work we need to add movement improvement. This is everything. Learning to exercise “smart” is key for your pelvic floor. That is why we have developed an entire program devoted to smart prenatal exercise.One Strong Mama is incredible comprehensive and covers each one of the tools mentioned in this post and much much more. Join our free Facebook community to learn more, watch video tips, and have your questions answered by us.
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